Northern Premier League
Grantham Town 1
Grantham came back from Trafford with nothing from a game that looked to be theirs just after an hour.
Controversial refereeing decisions and ill-discipline played their part in allowing Trafford to take the points.
Town made a positive start and pushed Trafford back from the word go. In the first minute, Michael Towey delivered a good cross that was headed out for a corner by Clevon Beadle. The Gingerbreads forced another couple of flag kicks in the opening five minutes and went close when Gary King picked up the loose ball after a Grantham free kick, but Trafford goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara tipped his shot over the top of the goal.
King then picked out Towey who found Grimes again with a deep cross. Grimes turned and shot but lifted his effort past the post. Towey was next to be denied by O’Hara as Grantham dominated the game.
The best chance of the half came on 29 minutes. King again opened up the Trafford defence with a good through-ball. Towey beat his defender and hit a rising shot that clipped the outside of the post.
Grantham continued to look for the opening goal but it continued to elude them, with another effort from Grimes being blocked by the Trafford defence, and a header from Deon Meikle only finding O’Hara.
It was almost on the stroke of half time before Trafford produced a threat when Shelton Payne chased on to a through-ball, but he found Lee Ridley and Dan Haystead too quick for him and they snuffed out the danger.
It was more of the same from the start of the second half. A good ball was played in for Greg Smith in the first minute of the second period, but he could not control. Trafford did show a bit more penetration, but Simon Hackney’s shot was deflected to Michael Oates. Oates could only stab his effort straight at Haystead.
Grimes won a corner on 62 minutes that led to Grantham taking the lead. A deep delivery to Greg Smith at the far post was headed back into the danger zone where Paul Lister nodded Grantham in front.
It looked as though the game was only going one way as Grantham pressed for a second goal. King curled a free kick round the Trafford wall, but O’Hara beat away his effort.
The game swung in controversial circumstances with 20 minutes to go. Town were frustrated that first a corner and then a throw that should have gone their way went to Trafford. From the throw, Trafford worked the ball down the Grantham left and stood a cross up to the far post. Hackney headed back across Haystead to level the game.
Immediately after the goal, Grantham went down to 10 men when Ridley was shown a yellow card for dissent, followed immediately by a red for foul and abusive language.
The controversial decisions continued. The game had not restarted after the goal, but referee Mr Yates decided that he would continue it with a free kick to Trafford where he had shown Ridley the red card.
Despite being one man short, Grantham still had the better of the play.
The Gingerbreads were denied a penalty with 10 minutes left. Greg Smith was in front of Nia Bayunu as the ball was played in to him. Bayunu clearly had both arms round Smith and appeared to haul him to the floor. Mr Yates, however, saw that as a free kick to the home side.
The game opened up inside the last 10 minutes. First Hackney saw his shot deflected then cleared. Next Grimes shot just over with a volleyed effort, and then with three minutes left, the home side took the lead.
Trafford took advantage of the gap on the Grantham left to play a good ball inside Lee Potts for Payne. He took his time to create a shooting chance and put his shot past Haystead.
Grantham Town: Haystead, Purcicoe, Ridley, Meikle, Lister, Lewis, King, Towey, Grimes, G. Smith, Potts. Subs not used: Foster, K. Smith, Whyman, Hawes, Motson. Att: 195.